Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Watty scrambles to catch up:

OK, here's the thing - I haven't done a depression index for weeks now - the reason being that I have been almost entirely symptom-free in all that time. This is, as you might imagine, enormously encouraging. One of the oddest side-effects is that, for the first time in my adult life, I have fingernails. Now this is a really weird one - I had noticed before now that my nails tended to grow (that is, I tended not to chew them into oblivion) when I was relaxed - usually when I was on holiday, or some such. But they never lasted once I was back in my normal routine, and feeling any kind of stress / whatever. And stress is what I would always put it down as - but now, I think I know what it was. Of course, now they're growing and for the first time ever I can tap them menacingly on tabletops - not that I particularly recommend this habit - I don't even want to trim them; I want them to grow and grow. There's something superstitious about it; perhaps my depression will come back if I prune my source of strength. I broke a nail the other day (I broke a nail!) and I was distraught, but I'm successfully growing it back.

Of course, maybe I've just finally grown out of biting my nails.

Thanks to the above, I Pilged on Saturday with real enthusiasm. This was my fourth time, and all the usual nonsense prevailed while I just basked in it - I notice, to my astonishment, that I can cope with hectic social situations, including meeting and chatting to people I barely know - and although slightly more beer was consumed than is technically good for me, I suffered no ill-effects, thanks to the all-pervading sense of joy and fun. And thanks to the lengthy journey home.

One additional Pilg thing - I had the overwhelming wonder of overhearing some of my prose being quoted and praised around the table. I'd quite like to experience that again....

And then, the next wonder. On Sunday, Cameron and I went shopping - our family has carefully arranged for birthdays to occur in clusters, and we had lots to buy - and in order to have all the shops we needed close together, we went to Brent Cross, which is a 35 minute drive. Now, I have tried not to force things upon my chilldren - I reckon that they'll appreciate things better if they discover them for themselves - but this was too good an opportunity to miss: I asked Cameron if he would like to hear a story, and put on 'Peter and the Wolf', quite prepared to turn it off again if he objected. But he listened. He listened quite intently; he spotted the bird whenever the flute appeared; he sat in silence (Cameron! Silent!) as the story unfolded; he asked why the wolf ate the duck; he didn't want to get out of the car before it ended; he enjoyed it. And I won't push it; we'll listen again when he wants to hear it, not when I do. I love being a parent. Mostly.

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